First of all, thank you for carrying me though this life. Thank you for pumping blood through my veins every day, even though I’m not always the nicest to you. Thanks for taking all the crap I sometimes say about you and put inside you and not letting it stop you. Thanks for working and doing the best you can.
Thanks for always waking up in the morning and drifting into sleep at night, even when I lay on my stomach and can never get comfortable. I don’t always do the best things for you, like when I sit at my desk for too long or eat an entire pizza in one sitting or stay up too late at night. But I try, and I think you know that. You know when I eat spaghetti squash for dinner or go on an extra long walk or drink a lot of water every day. You know I do those things because I love you.
To my feet: I’m sorry you’re not always in top shape. I try to paint your toenails and put on lotion but sometimes the nail polish comes off and I skip a few nights of pampering you. I’ll try harder because you are so important to me. You carry me to the tops of the tallest mountains and sink into the sand of beautiful beaches. Once, you even let me take you running, 13 miles down a canyon. I don’t know if I’ll ever do that again but I’m so grateful to know that you would be up for it.
To my legs: I know everyone talks about you and says you should have a gap between your thighs, but I’m okay with the fact that you don’t. I’m in awe every day of the power and the muscle in you and I want you to be thick with strength. I hope you’re not mad about all the marks I’ve left on you, like the one from when I snuck into a golf course in high school to look at the stars and on the way back, I sliced you open and the scar has never gone away. You’ll probably never be tan and perfect but you’re a symbol of a life well-lived and that will only continue, if you’re okay with it.
To my stomach: You’ve probably heard me complain about you the most, and I apologize for that. Sometimes I wish you were a little flatter but if that were the case, I probably wouldn’t be winning any more eating contests and those are some of my best claims to fame – like the time when I out-ate three boys at all-you-can-eat french toast and I was so proud of that. Don’t listen to my complaints, stomach. You do you.
To my arms: I’m so proud of you. Day by day, you’ve gotten stronger and stronger and together we can keep that going. I think you know how much I hate working on you but I do it because I care. Remember that, on the days when you wake up and you’re so sore you think you’ll never work again.
To my hair: We’ve been through a lot, and it’s taken a toll on our relationship, so I apologize for that. I love the fact that you are always up for something new and you spring back after every change. It can’t be easy, being the hair on my head. You do it with grace, so thanks.
To my face: I never really learned how to do makeup, and it’s helped me really appreciate you. You are a no-apologies kind of face – you’re just yourself, every day, whether it’s in the office or at church or on the mountaintops. You’ve helped me see and taste and feel so many amazing and incredible things in this world and I can’t wait to see what we do next.
I can’t say this enough to all of you, body: thank you. Without you I would have never seen the Napali Coast, or Sundial Peak, or the Eiffel Tower. I never would have tasted the most delicious calamari or the best margarita pizza or the perfect pasta. I never would have breathed in the salty air of the seaside or the scent of a Christmas tree or the aroma of freshly done laundry. I never would have done any of the things that make me feel alive and full and stir my soul.
And even though you’ve given me so many problems – like the excruciating hip pain that ended my soccer career or the three week long spout of bronchitis or the dangerous case of heat exhaustion a few years ago, and the many more trials and struggles I’m sure we’ll go through together – I wouldn’t change any of it, because it’s made us stronger and more human. You may not always be perfect in the eyes of the world… but you’ll always be perfect in mine.